Special Task Force Report (3-25-8)  

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Today's report will outline our actions conducted from February 21, 2008 to March 25, 2008 in dealing with players violating the user agreement, as well as details on the activities, results, and goals of the Special Task Force.

For details on the Special Task Force's activities in dealing with players violating the FINAL FANTASY XI user agreement, see Accounts Banned.

Special Task Force activities and future plans

As can be seen in the chart below, the number of accounts that were banned in February had decreased to half the number we had in December and January. This is partially due to the period of the bannings in February being shorter than usual, but it is also because we had received much fewer reports from FINAL FANTASY XI players, indicating that the number of violators of the user agreement has decreased.

With this knowledge in hand, the Special Task Force has decided to strengthen its actions in regards to RMT (*1) and violators involved in the buying and selling of gil.

We will, of course, also continue our actions in dealing with hunters (*2) violating the user agreement and causing trouble for regular players. Effective systematic countermeasures will also be introduced with the help of the development team.

Below we will describe some of the countermeasures introduced in the March 11th version update.

Countermeasures for dealing with illegal fishing

  • In the following areas, places where it was possible for even low-level characters to fish without being attacked by monsters can no longer be used to catch fish.
Sea Serpent Grotto / Cape Teriggan

Countermeasures for dealing with illegal mining

  • Characters under level 20 can no longer obtain items through mining in the following areas.
Newton Movalpolos / Mount Zhayolm / Halvung / Gusgen Mines / Ifrit's Cauldron

Countermeasures for dealing with actions taking advantage of certain quests

  • Job level restrictions were applied to the requirements for accepting an offer for the quests below. The level required to be able to accept an offer differs for each quest.
    • Gifts of the Griffon
    • Claws of the Griffon
    • The Firebloom Tree
    • Test My Mettle
  • It must be after 8:00 a.m. PST (12:00 am Japan Time) before a player can accept a quest's offer again for the quests below. The player will also have to have performed an area change.
    • The Firebloom Tree
    • Test My Mettle

The following tally details the condition of problems between February 21, 2008 and March 25, 2008. Each of these issues is discussed individually in the following section.

Illegal fishing

  • The issue where the number of reports had decreased the most for February was illegal fishing. We believe that they will continue to decrease as a result of the countermeasures introduced in the March 11th version update mentioned above, but we will continue to carefully keep an eye on the problem. If you happen to see an area where lower-level characters can fish without being attacked by monsters, please report it to the Special Task Force.


  • Just like illegal fishing, the number of reports regarding hunters decreased. Because this issue has become less common in the community, it could be thought that we were successful in our actions.
We plan to continue investigations into areas mentioned in reports provided by FINAL FANTASY XI players.

Use of synthesis and auction houses for RMT (*3)

  • Violators involved in synthesis and auction houses for RMT generally prepare different accounts for characters that synthesize the items and for characters that put the items up for sale at auction houses.

As was mentioned in January's report, because the Special Task Force has an understanding of which characters are involved in RMT and has banned these characters accordingly, the number of accounts involved is decreasing.

  • 1. RMT
"Real Money Trading." Selling game data for real money.

  • 2. Hunters
Characters who kill Notorious Monsters, clear quests, and obtain items over and over again with the sole purpose of gathering gil, which is then handed off to RMT groups.

  • 3. Use of synthesis and auction houses for RMT
Actions involving selling large quantities of in-game items for gil, which is then traded for real money.

Matters of concern within the community

In the following section, we will be explaining the Special Task Force's direction and plans in dealing with matters of concern within the community.

Changing game interface

I've seen people on the internet claiming to have changed the game's interface and then played the game. Why haven't these people's accounts been banned yet?

With only the insufficient information from a website to go on, we cannot make a judgment regarding the situation. Of course, the use of external programs displaying party members' TP or alliance members' MP is prohibited. If the Special Task Force can verify that a player has been using such programs, this evidence can be used to ban the player in question.

Also, many such unauthorized external programs have the ability to steal one's PlayOnline ID and password. To protect yourself from the possibility of unauthorized third-party access to your account, please refrain from using programs not approved by Square Enix.

Warning about unauthorized access

As has been mentioned in previous Special Task Force reports, problems regarding third party access to players' account information have become more and more common. Even if ones account is compromised only once, all of that player's characters could be deleted and all gil and items lost.

Viewing suspicious web sites linked on gaming websites or blogs, as well as downloading files from these sites, is believed to be the main cause of this unauthorized access. A player's computer becomes infected with a Trojan horse or keylogger and before he realizes it, his PlayOnline ID and password have been stolen.

We are currently working on a method to restore edited account details and lost items, but there are a few preventative measures to help protect ones account. The following are a few such countermeasures that Windows users can use to protect against unauthorized access.

  • Do not access websites with unknown or suspicious content.
  • Do not download software from unknown or suspicious websites.
  • Periodically perform Windows Updates and keep Windows updated to the latest version.
    • Refer to Microsoft's official website for more detailed information.
  • Periodically update your web browser to the latest version.
  • Do not use external tools not approved by Square Enix under any circumstances.
  • Always use the latest antivirus software and Internet security software.

In order to protect your data, please use the countermeasures listed above along with diligent management of your PlayOnline account.

We would also like to remind everyone that Square Enix will never reveal PlayOnline account details to third parties.

Reporting to the Special Task Force

The Special Task Force relies on everyone's information regarding violations of the user agreement to help keep FINAL FANTASY XI an enjoyable environment, and we appreciate your continuing support and cooperation.

This page last modified 2008-03-26 21:45:11.